This year California legislators passed the largest gas tax increase in decades, a move which will hit the middle class the hardest. When middle class taxpayers got upset, Gov. Brown hit back, calling them “freeloaders” and invoking the “everyone has to pitch in for society!” talking points.
Maybe they’d have more money if they weren’t spending it on things people don’t rely on the government to provide.
One thing legislators have found the money for is anti-gun research. They call it “gun violence research,” but make no mistake, there is only one acceptable outcome for the research. During the 2016 legislative session lawmakers approved a bill creating the “University of California Firearms Violence Research Center,” allotting $5 million over five years to establish the center and fund operations.
Five million dollars is a drop in the bucket compared to the billions California needs to improve roads, crumbling bridges, and deteriorating dams, but, as they keep reminding residents of the drought-stricken state, drops add up.
The Center opened July 1 at UC Davis, with Dr. Garen Wintemute, a well-known name in both gun control and gun rights circles. He told the Sacramento Bee he “hopes to assess the effectiveness of current laws, including the newly adopted requirement that people who buy ammunition have the legal right to own guns, and of California’s new gun violence restraining orders.”
Wintemute and the Center’s proponents claim to be apolitical, but his writings have been used to devastating political effect in the past. Wintemute is the author of the “Ring of Fire” paper, which documented a group of handgun manufacturers in Southern California who made inexpensive “Saturday Night Special” handguns. That report was used as a justification for California politicians to establish the “Not Unsafe Handgun Roster,” which severely limits the number of guns Californians are allowed to purchase.
It’s all about pleasing the campaign donors.